High on the Adirondack slopes is a tiny village, full of bustling activity and a lot of magic. The buildings, with their gingerbread trim, jaunty peaked roofs, and bright colors, look as though they have sprung from a fairy tale.
Here in this perfect village, the chocolate shop smells delicious, with glass cases full of radiant confections. In the hat shop, stacks of fuzzy, cheerful red and white hats wait for children (of all ages) to have their names emblazoned on them. A miniature train tootles through the woods. And in a charming barn, eight reindeer nibble carrots, indulge in cuddles with visitors, and wait for their big night: December 24. This is North Pole, NY, the home of Santa’s Workshop.
Santa himself lives in a cottage not too far from the barn, and he happily welcomes visitors of all ages. As he and his elves prepare for Christmas, Santa’s Workshop hosts a variety of events sure to get you in the holiday spirit. If you start decorating for Christmas in October, or go through life shouting, “Santa's coming! I know him!” then this is the place for you. Here's how to visit.
As fall progresses, Santa and his helpers get very busy preparing for Christmas, but they still have plenty of time and energy left to share the Christmas spirit with visitors. From November 11 - December 17, families, couples, and children of all ages are welcome at Santa's Workshop on Saturdays and Sundays. There is plenty to do, from riding the carousel, spinning bobsleds, twirling ornaments, and miniature train, to browsing the toy shop, candlemaker's, and bake shop.
The fuzzy reindeer in the barn love visitors — and snacks! — and Santa keeps his list up to date as he receives guests in his house. There's a talking Christmas tree, wishing well (did you know that all coins in the wishing well are used to give Christmas gifts to underprivileged children?), a sleigh to pose for photos in, and Mother Hubbard's Restaurant, too! Be sure not to miss all the day's entertainment, including the Santa Claus parade, nativity pageant, and the musical jamboree.
Yuletide Family Weekends
Starting November 10 and running every weekend through December 15, Santa's Workshop hosts special travel packages designed for families with young children. Each package provides two nights' lodging at one of four local inns and extra special activities at Santa's Workshop only available to Yuletide weekend participants.
Kids will enjoy crafting ornaments and trimming the Christmas tree with Santa's helpers and a special guest, plus a special evening program of dinner, caroling, storytelling, and more. Santa himself makes a special visit to your inn for a delightfully unique experience.
The package also includes two days' of admission to the park, a special welcome gift and treat, present for each child, and souvenir photo of your meeting with Santa. It's a Christmas whirlwind and one your family will treasure for years to come. If you're feeling extra brave — and warm — don't forget to touch the frozen north pole itself!
Dinner with Santa
For a cozy treat that will become a cherished memory, Dinner with Santa is the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit! A family-friendly dinner at the workshop's Northern Lights Restaurant gives little ones the chance to spend time with Santa. After dinner, enjoy the special magic of Village of Lights!
Village of Lights
What's Christmastime without thousands of twinkling lights? Every year, Santa and his helpers open the workshop on select evenings so that visitors may enjoy the beautiful, festive sparkle of his village at night. Festive lights adorn the whole village and Santa's helpers invite you to join them in singing carols.
During the Village of Lights, everything in the park is extra pretty, from St. Nicholas' church to the nativity pageant. Be sure to dress warmly, but if you get chilly you can toast marshmallows over the fire or pop into the bake shop for a warm treat. Pick up a personalized ornament for your own tree, or get your name put on a jaunty Santa hat.
You can even mail your Christmas cards from the post office; every year, a special postmark is created, showing your friends and family that your card was mailed from the North Pole! Santa still gets plenty of mail here, plus sends letters to friends young and old. Hint: prepare your youngsters for their visit by ordering a personalized letter from the man in red. It's a vintage-style treat sure to delight!
This year, the Village of Lights will be open December 3, 10, 17 - 23. The park is open 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with last entrance at 7 p.m. Please be aware that, with the exception of the carousel, Santa's rides are not open in the evenings.
Generations of locals and visitors have enjoyed the wonders of Santa's Workshop and we hope you will, too. No matter how old we get, we can always use a little holiday magic and radiant good cheer.